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The First Western South Dakota Stockgrowers Association Meets | South Dakota History

Excerpt of the April 26, 1895 Black Hills Roundup
The Black Hills Roundup
Excerpt of the April 26, 1895 Black Hills Roundup

This week in February 1892, the first Western South Dakota Stockgrowers Association met at the Harney Hotel in Rapid City.

The organization can be traced back to Stockgrowers Associations for the Territories of the upper plains in 1880.

The Western South Dakota Stockgrowers became incorporated in 1893. In the annual report from the Secretary-Treasurer published in 1894, the 18 page booklet included a listing of by-laws. Section 2 of the by-laws said, “The object of the Association is to advance the interests of stock growers in western South Dakota and surrounding states. And for the protection of the same against fraud and swindlers and to prevent the stealing, taking, and driving away of cattle, horses, mules, and asses from the rightful owners. And to enforce the stock laws of South Dakota.

Section 3 of the by-laws identified a President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and a 7 member executive committee made up of membership. The report listed over 150 members, mostly from western South Dakota. And a budget item that paid the secretary-treasurer $460 annually.

Over the next 50 years, membership not only grew, but included members from a much wider area. Because of the growth, the Association's name was changed in 1937. Today we know it as the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

On this week in 1892, just 3 years after statehood, ranchers met in Rapid City to create the Western South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

Production help is provided by Doctor Brad Tennant, Professor of History at Presentation College.